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Does My Senior Loved One Have a Gambling Addiction?

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

Gambling addiction among senior citizens has been increasing in recent years. A study by the University of Pennsylvania, indicated more than one out of ten people over the age of 65 are at risk of financial problems due to gambling. If you’re concerned your senior loved one falls into this category, find out how to tell if he or she has problems with gambling. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care in Warren, has put together a list of warning signs to watch for.

Preoccupation with Gambling

Gambling on occasion is usually harmless for seniors, but becoming obsessive about it can indicate a serious problem. Your loved one may have an addiction if he or she talks about gambling a lot or frequently makes plans to gamble instead of doing other activities.

Increased Spending at the Casino

Placing the occasional bet or playing a slot machine once in a while is fine in most cases, but you should pay attention to the amount of money your loved one is spending on gambling. If the amount keeps increasing, this may be a sign of addiction. It means your loved one needs to risk higher amounts of money to get the same thrill from gambling.

Using Savings or Selling Belongings for Gambling Money

Seniors who dip into their retirement savings or begin selling personal possessions might have a gambling addiction. Gambling among seniors isn’t a problem if they’re only spending a little money. However, if your loved one makes having money for gambling a priority over having it for essential items, this likely means he or she has an addiction.

What Are the Reasons for the Rise in Elderly Gambling Addictions?

More seniors are becoming addicted to gambling for a number of reasons. In some cases, casinos make it easy and affordable for seniors to visit by providing rewards, meal discounts, and transportation. As they get older, gambling helps some seniors alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Seniors with cognitive issues like dementia might not be capable of making reasonable decisions when it comes to gambling. For instance, when the frontal lobe is affected, a senior may lose inhibitions, which makes it more likely for him or her to develop an addiction.

How Can You Help Prevent This Addiction?

You can steer your loved one away from potential gambling problems by making sure he or she has plenty of other activities to do. Keeping him or her company on a regular basis can also help lower the risk of gambling addiction. Consider hiring a caregiver in Warren to assist with stimulating activities and to monitor unhealthy behavior.

If your loved one needs regular companionship and mental stimulation, Home Care Assistance can help. All of our caregivers are trained in our proprietary Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program that promotes healthy living for seniors through mental and social stimulation and a variety of other factors. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care for Warren seniors who need more extensive assistance. For more information, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 908.450.9400 to schedule a free consultation.